Policy Issues

Rural-Urban Coalition Supports Legislative Reforms for EB-5 Investment Program In Lieu of Inadequate Regulations

March 8, 2019

View letter

Comprehensive legislative reforms to the EB-5 investment program are needed to provide stronger safeguards to combat fraud and safeguard national security while balancing rural and urban areas’ access to the program, according to a coalition of 11 national industry organizations.
 
  • The coalition letter sent to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney—maintains that regulations proposed during the Obama era lack national security and anti-fraud provisions essential to overhaul the program.  These proposed regulations also do not provide for a “set aside” of EB-5 investment visas for projects in so-called “Targeted Employment Areas” – a key policy component of stakeholder negotiations to encourage fair access to EB-5 capital in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
  • The letter also recommends that EB-5 Targeted Employment Areas should overlap with Opportunity Zones designated by the Treasury Department in June 2018.  Both geographic designations are census tract-based and share the common objective to channel investment capital to the nation’s distressed communities.  “We cannot discern a sound policy basis to establish two different sets of census tract designation criteria to achieve the same policy objective,” the organizations wrote.

  • The coalition letter concludes that final publication of these rules by the Department of Homeland Security would undermine congressional efforts to improve and sustain the EB-5 program over the long term.  “Our organizations continue to believe that congressional action is the best way to achieve lasting reform,” the letter states.